The meat of the matter

reeks love meat, perhaps too much, and they continue to buy it in the traditional manner, from their local butcher’s shop. Though they are prepared to pay more in order to ensure good quality, they can’t be sure about what they end up eating. Chicken is the prime favorite of Greeks, followed by pork and beef, which has regained its place at the table after the scare over bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), aka mad cow disease, two years ago. These are the conclusions of a survey on Greek dietary habits conducted by MBR for Sopexa (a firm that promotes French agricultural products). The poll was conducted in Athens and Thessaloniki among 450 people aged 18-64. According to the survey, 39.1 percent of Greeks eat meat more than three times a week at home, 50.4 percent more than twice, and 20.8 percent at least once a week. Greeks prefer to buy their meat from the local butcher, where they also find out about what is good. Of those sampled, 75.7 percent said they buy beef, locally produced, from specific places they trust, and that 50 percent know that the majority of the meat on sale is imported. It seems that the Greek flags festooned around places selling meat during the BSE crisis had some effect, because 18 percent of the sample believe that only local beef is sold in Greece. However, Greeks feel they don’t know as much as they should, with 24 percent stating they have food fears, and 34.9 percent doubting the quality of the food they eat. Most believe that quality is more important than price, and they want to see food stamped and certified by an independent organization. They would also like an official body which provides advice on food quality issues.

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